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Oskar Fischinger


Having fun producing my personal work
Jules Engel Film-maker
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I think in '74, '75, my own films, yeah. And I think you mentioned that one of the dog running, that was - it's called what?

[Q] Accident.

Accident. Why don't I remember that? Accident.  Ja, that was... that would have been right, the first film. And I did it in a building here downstairs. They had a lousy camera that Disney gave away, an animation camera, but it was perfect for me because you could stop it, you can move it, you can push it, kick it, nothing would hurt it. And that's where I did Accident, on that machine. So to a degree, it also tells people that it isn't always the equipment, you know, don't blame the equipment, you know? Because I couldn't have less equipment then, doing that particular film. And then I think the next one was Train Landscape. Have you seen Train Landscape? I mean, that was a second film and again, working on that bad machine, you know? But I was shooting for the first time, just shooting footage, you know? And then I figured I'm going to put it together as I feel it should work, you know? So I did shot a lot of stuff and some of it was... you know, when you do it like that so you're free, you know, and you're not locked in. The only way, then sometimes things can happen, and good things happen. But you have to have whatever it takes to judge, to understand, to feel, you know, what you're looking at and how it's going to work the best. Yeah, I think the second was... the film had a lot of problems because the footage was huge or small and for me was to cut it into one piece, and it turned out to be a good one. But I don't recommend that to a lot of people because it takes a certain amount of experience that you had, you know, with film and then you can play. You can play, you know? When I use the word 'play' I don't mean like you go out there and play in the sandbox, but I mean, still you're playing, you know what I mean? You're not dealing with murder scene, you're not dealing with anything like that. So, have fun doing that, you know? I'm lucky because both those films are beautiful films, well done, good sound, you know, stuff like that.

The late Hungarian-American film-maker Jules Engel is best known for his contribution to the field of animation. His work includes the dance sequences in Walt Disney's 'Fantasia' and the creation of 'Mr Magoo'. His films and lithographs are housed in museums all over the world and have won many awards.

Listeners: Tamara Tracz Bill Moritz

Tamara Tracz is a writer and filmmaker based in London.

William Moritz received his doctorate from USC and pursues parallel careers as filmmaker and writer. His forty-four experimental and animation films have been screened at museums in Paris, Amsterdam and Tokyo, among others. He published widely on Oskar Fischinger, James Whitney, Bruce Conner, the Fleischers and 200 pages of animation history for an AbsolutVodka website. He wrote chapters for the "Oxford History of Cinema", appeared in several television documentaries, curated art exhibits and received a lifetime achievement trophy from the Netherlands Royal Academy for his work with visual music. He has served on film festival juries and received an American Film Institute filmmaking grant. His poetry and plays are also performed and published. He is a leading expert of Oskar Fischinger and recently published a biography of him. He teaches at The California Institute of the Arts.

Tags: Accident, Train Landscape, Walt Disney

Duration: 3 minutes, 9 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008